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Medical & Health Issues

Exercising the Biggest Muscle You Have - the Brain!

Growing older does not mean that your mental abilities will necessarily be reduced. There's a lot you can do to keep your mind sharp and alert. Researchers believe that many of the supposed age-related changes that affect the mind, such as memory loss, are actually lifestyle related. Just as muscles get flabby from sitting around and doing nothing, so does the brain. 


Games are a great deal of fun. Pitting your wits against "man or machine" is one way to enjoy your recreation time.

Games like codecrakers, crosswords, sudoku and wordsearch can also help keep your mind sharp.  They can challenge and tease you.

Keeping mentally active has been found to help reduce your risk of dementia.



Heartmoves is a gentle exercise program providing a fun, social and safe way to exercise.

We all know exercise is good for you but you don't have to exercise at a vigorous level to achieve health benefits. To help, the Heart Foundation has developed a low-to-moderate intensity exercise program called Heartmoves, designed for people who are living with health conditions. Check out the website for locations for exercise classes in your locality.

Ballarat Health Companion Project

if you are travelling to Ballarat for a health appointment and need someone to assist you then help is at hand via the Ballarat Community Health program.

The Ballarat Health Companion Project is a transport assistance program that provides trained health companions to meet you at the Ballarat Railway Station and accompany you to and from your health appointment by bus or taxi.

The service is FREE:

  • You cover your own travel costs
  • Your companion helps you to navigate your way around Ballarat to all hospitals, specialists, medical health and dental appointments
  • Service is available Monday-Friday 8.30 am to 6 pm
  • For information you can call 1800 054 172 or email -



Stepping Up Program

"Stepping Up" is a six to eight week internet-based program for people with arthritis, back pain or other musculoskeletal conditions.
It supports you to deal with some of the physical and emotional challenges of living with a musculoskeletal condition, such as stress, pain, fatigue, depression, low mood, anxiety, worry, sleep problems and making lifestyle changes.

Stepping Up is accessed through the internet. You can participate from the convenience of your home.

The program has been developed by the Public Health Innovations Unit at Deakin University in collaboration with consumers, doctors and other health professionals, beyondblue, and Arthritis Victoria. The project is funded by a research grant from "beyondblue." 
If you would like more information, or if you are interested in participating in the research trial, please contact the Stepping Up project team by clicking here

Or you can contact Ballarat Community Health Clinical Services Administrator on 03 5338 4593.



Nurse on Call

This site provides information about the NURSE-ON-CALL service for all Victorians:

Travelling to a Melbourne Hospital on Public Transport

The Inner Melbourne Hospital Map & Guide is now available. The Map clearly shows the Inner Melbourne Medical Precinct and all the available public transport (buses, trains, trams and taxis) to get you to and from your appointments. The map also has information on available transport concessions and accessibility options.



Medical Companion Project

The Melbourne Medical Companion Project is a personalised service to assist regional and rural Victorian travellers get to their medical appointments in Melbourne.

Under the project, medical companions meet travellers at Southern Cross and Flinders Street Stations, and accompany them to and from their appointment in central Melbourne.

Passengers have the choice of using taxis, trams or buses whilst in Melbourne, and the companions are experienced in using all three modes of transport.

Golden Plains Shire residents can access the service by calling Golden Plains Shire Social Support Coordinator Noel Brebner on 5220 7144. Noel will contact the Medical Companion Project on your behalf and also provide Community Transport if required.

Alternatively, you can phone Travellers Aid on 1300 700 399 at least 24 hours prior to their expected travel date, or book online at




Older People and Beyondblue

Depression is common throughout the Australian population, and older people are more likely to experience contributing factors such as physical illness or personal loss

It is thought that between 10 and 15 per cent of older people experience depression and approximately 10 per cent experience anxiety. Rates of depression among people living in residential aged-care facilities are believed to be much higher, at around 35 per cent.

Unfortunately, many people over 65 still seem to feel there is a stigma attached to depression and mental health conditions, viewing them as a weakness of character rather than a health problem.

Older people are also more hesitant to share their experiences of depression with others, often ignoring symptoms over long periods of time and only seeking professional help when things reach crisis point.

The thing is, depression and anxiety are common. They affect 3 million Australians every year. There's no need for older people to feel they have to live with depression or anxiety. They are not a weakness of character – but common conditions for which help is available. Effective treatments exist for older people and the good news is, with the right treatment for depression and anxiety, most people recover.

A strong social network and relationships with people we care about are important at any age, as they promote good mental health. As we get older,maintaining connections with friends, family and the community can prevent feelings of loneliness and help us to stay mentally healthy.

Click here for the Beyondblue website